“When you grow up you tend to get told that the world is the way it is and your life is just to live your life inside the world—try not to bash into the walls too much, try to have a nice family life, have fun, save a little money. But life—that’s a very limited life. Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact. And that is everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it—you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use.” 

—Steve Jobs

Picture this: You’re a child and the world is a vast playground. It’s a sandbox, each grain a nugget of wisdom, an adventure, a mystery. You’re told to play nice, to build sandcastles, to have fun, but don’t kick sand. A few grains tucked away could buy a treat. This sandbox is your life.

That’s what most of us grow up hearing. We’re told that life is set, pre-defined, just like this sandbox. They say, “Don’t disrupt the balance, keep things steady, don’t try to change the sand’s texture.” But isn’t that limiting? Just playing with what you’re handed, no questions asked?

Here’s the thing. The sandbox—it’s crafted by those who were children once, just like you. They added the sand, they defined the rules, they built the boundaries. But they aren’t wizards or demigods. They’re people. Just like you.

So why stick to the same old rules? Why not toss some new sand, change the game, redefine the boundaries? You have the power to shape the sandbox, to mold it in your image, to add your grains of wisdom. You’re not just a player; you’re a creator too.

Why settle for their sandbox? Create your own. Show them a different game. The sandbox may be your world, but you’re its master.

Stephen Boudreau serves as VP of Brand and Community at Virtuous Software. For over two decades, he has helped nonprofits leverage the digital space to grow their impact. To that end, Stephen co-founded RaiseDonors, a platform that provides nonprofits with technology and experiences that remove barriers to successful online fundraising. He is an avid (but aging) soccer player, audiobook enthusiast, and the heavily-disputed UNO champion of his household.

Copyright ©2023 Stephen Boudreau.